That question must have just been devastating to Peter when Jesus asked it. Only a few days earlier Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times! And that came after a promise was made by Peter to Jesus to never leave His side. Now Peter was confronted by the One he had followed for three years: do you love me? Of course Peter loved Jesus. But then he was asked again: Peter, do you love me? Perhaps Peter was uncertain of why Jesus asked again. Or perhaps Peter was feeling convicted for the shame he felt as a result of the denial of his friend. Whatever the case, Peter again affirmed his love for Jesus. For a third time Jesus posed the question: do you love me? Peter replied differently this time: "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Peter apparently needed affirmation that his lapse of judgment a few days prior was not indicative of his devotion to Jesus. Jesus knew that Peter loved Him, but did Peter know that he loved Jesus? This affirmation set a fire in Peter than enabled him to lead the start of the Church. Peter failed, but he came back. He made a mistake, but he was reminded that he was still on Jesus' team. I think we need that reminder sometimes. If you've fallen down, get back up. Your lapse of judgment isn't necessarily indicative of your whole person. Stand up, and move forward; Jesus may have some very important work for you to do that is not possible to complete if you're still on the ground.
You are here: / / Do you really love me? (John 20-21)
Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.